Today I picked up my first produce box from the South Central Farmers' Coop and its contents were simply amazing.
My lovely wife Penelope and I have been trying out different organic delivery services over the past few months. We started out with L.O.V.E. Organic Delivery, which we really enjoyed, but much of the produce was grown far far a way. The nice thing about L.O.V.E. was that they delivered right to our door every week.
We stopped L.O.V.E. because we really want to support local farmers and not waste energy having our food shipped from other states or countries. Our next move was to try Community Supported Agriculture.
With a CSA you basically buy a semi-yearly share in a farm, if the farm is successful (and most are in sunny Southern California) you get a box of veggies every week. We read great things about Tierra Miguel, so we gave them a try.
Tierra Miguel's boxes were huge, but of the three we picked up, we found their selection to be lacking. This could be related to the season we're in right now, but for us, it was just too much greens. Our first two boxes were almost entirely different varieties of lettuce, and several bunches of each kind. TM's quality was top-notch, but for our small family of two, it was just too much. And for $45 a week, it was just more than we could justify while still having to buy other veggies to round out our meals.
I understand that a big part of the price of the CSA is supporting the farm, but TM just didn't seem like a fit for us. Enter the South Central Farmers' Coop.
Bordering on a reasonable amount of vegetables for two people in one week, the South Central Farmers' Coop box was packed full of beautiful organic, locally-grown vegetables.
Initially we didn't go with the SCFC due to the lack of fruit in their offerings. Today when I went and picked up the box at the Farmer's Market at City Hall I also picked up some organic fruit from the other vendors at the market, so that solved that problem. Once I got the box home and opened it up I was amazed. So many quality veggies inside, including:
- Spring Onions
- Red Romaine lettuce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Fava Beans
- Red Beets
- Golden Beets
- Rainbow Chard
- Swiss Chard
- Black Kale
- Blue Kale
I don't think we've ever prepared golden beets, but we love beets, and Penelope has a mean recipe for salt crusted beets with horseradish creme fraiche. I actually didn't realize you could eat kale, but I've already found some good recipes for it creamed. I make a mean fava bean cassoulet, and today at the Nickel, owner Monica May gave me a great recipe that I think I'll try.
We're very excited about the SCF Coop box, and we'll almost certainly buy a whole season's worth. The boxes were only $15 a month for the cheapest option, but you can pay more to support the farm or pay $30 and someone who can't afford it will get a free box... now that is cool. We'll most likely do the buy one, give one deal when we subscribe.
At first sight, the amount of vegetable matter contained in the SCF Coop produce box is deceiving.
Last night was our final dining experience in San Francisco, and as it turns out we saved the best for last. On the drive up to SF we asked for recommendations via chowhound, and recommendations we received. For our French restaurant we ended up choosing La Folie and we were extremely satisfied.
Read the rest after the jump.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as a delicious meal after a long drive. When you start your vacation with hand held nodules of culinary blasphemy known as McGriddles, your next dining experience can only go one way, up. While driving up the beautiful and inspiring Pacific Coast Highway I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I spent a good amount of time surfing the web looking for a good place to eat upon our arrival in San Francisco.
Read the rest after the jump.
Last night after the Detour show, my friend Mike Rocchio and I went to Oomasa for sushi. I ate sweet shrimp, with the shrimp heads in soup form. Afterwards I felt a little tickle in my throat, but I was still fairly buzzed and it didn't really bother me until I was about to go to sleep. I had what I thought was a little bit of shrimp antenna lodged in my throat. I tried to wash it down with some cereal and copious amounts of water, but it stayed stuck in there. I went to bed hoping it would work its self loose by morning, but when I awoke it was still there.
I decided to call Kaiser and see what they recommended, but while I was on hold I decided to look in the mirror and see if I could see anything. Lo and behold, there it was, a big honkin' shrimp leg lodged in the back of my throat. Penelope, my wonderful wife / nurse in training offered to extract it with a pair of tweezers. After a few tries she skillfully snatched it and removed it. I took a few photos with a nickel for scale here.
Penelope and I ate at La Parilla twice in the last few weeks. Penelope had been bugging me for months to try La Parilla, as it won the LA Downtown News best mexican restaurant award in 2005. If it was up to me I would try every Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo before anything else, but when in a relationship on has to compromise from time to time.
Some times I don't make the smartest decisions when it comes to my culinary explorations. There was that one time in Tokyo when I tried the chicken sashimi and repeatedly after a night at the bar I find myself drawn to the danger dog cart. Some of my hacker friends make something called Habeñero rum which is incredibly spicy and I've had it a few times, but it didn't prepare me for the Special 2 Spice Level Orochon Ramen.
The other day I did a short write-up about many people's favorite sushi spot in Little Tokyo called Oomasa. I don't think my one paragraph really did it justice so I am going to expand upon it. I also took some drool inducing photos during my most recent foray between the noren curtains.
It was Friday night and Penelope got off after midnight. I was hungry for some hot ramen goodness so I hopped in the lopers' car and we headed down to my favorite area for late night dining, Little Tokyo. In my quest to try every restaurant in LT, starting with the spots that are open late, I have been to most of the eateries along First street south of San Pedro. Although my favorite low price restaurant is currently Suehiro, I was recently referred to Daikokuya in the comments on my post about Mr. Ramen.
I'm sure it's a surprise to nobody that I enjoy eating Japanese food. I spent some time in Japan a few years ago and these days I really enjoy visiting the various eateries in Little Tokyo. Here are some mini-reviews of establishments I've visited in the last few weeks that I enjoyed: Oomasa, Mr. Ramen, Yamazaki and Mikawaya.
If you are ever feeling skinny, there is a quick fix for that: Beard Papa's. Actually depending on what time you go to Beard Papa's, you may have to wait in a pretty long line, so the fix may not actually be that quick. Penelope and I went to Marukai in Gardena on Superbowl Sunday to get some tasty snacks and on the way in we say the Beard Papa's sign and I started drooling. The line stretched around the kiosk and with about 20 people waiting for their custard infused pastry fix.
I was in the West Side on Tuesday for a meeting and afterwards I stopped to grab a bite to eat at Shabu Hachi on Olympic. I have had plenty of Shabu Shabu in my life so I opted to try a Japanese dish I hadn't ever had before, Nabe. Nabe is an assortment of meat and veggies in a hot pot of water. There are several varieties of broth available, miso, soy and chanko which is a spicy bean paste, similar to what is often served with Korean BBQ. I opted for the seafood chanko nabe and along with an order of beef wrapped enoki mushrooms.
Penelope and I ate at Kobe Ramen last night. It was ok, but I think we should have tried the noodles instead of random small dishes. In other news I have posted a bunch more photos from the last year that I have been hoarding:
When I visited Japan a few years ago, one of my favorite food experiences was a little hole in the wall bar in rural Japan near Osaka. The little dishes of interesting fare really hit the spot after a night of drinking and the hot shochu with umeboshi helped keep my buzz going and my body warm. When I walked into Suehiro last Sunday night at midnight, a quick glance at the specials board let me know that this was my kind of place. Just a warning, there is a 90% chance that you won't like some of the things I ate at Suehiro, but if you are adventurous you should give them a try, if not there is still plenty of tame and tasty items to be had.
I have always loved malt-o-meal and for the last few weeks I have been enjoying it several days a week thanks to Penelope's wonderful breakfast cooking skills. She even introduced a new way of eating it to me, Savory style with butter, fresh ground pepper and salt. Mmm good stuff!
Today after going for a run in Griffith Park and visiting out favorite baby sifaka at the LA Zoo, Penelope and I met up with Jim and Shannon at Union Station and then walked over to New Chinatown to partake in some serious Chinese food sampling, with some soul food and Seoul food thrown in for good measure. Jim took some photos of the festival which can be found in his flickr pool. I am uploading the photos I took now, but it is going a bit slow as I am just borrowing my neighbors internet connection, thanks neighbor! My photos for the most part can be found here.
This Sunday is the Chinese Food Festival in Chinatown. I have never been to this particular festival, but both Penelope and I love food and we're going to jump on the train this Sunday and go check it out. The festival is normally $10, but if you take public transportation you get $2 off of the admission price. We're meeting up with jim and sha who are also planning on heading down.
Dear MOS Burger,
I am writing you because I feel there is a great untapped market in California for a healthy Japanese style burger joint. We in Los Angeles have few choices for healthy fast food and your restaurant would be a welcomed treat. There are over 10 million people in the greater Los Angeles area who love to eat new and unique styles of food. I personally believe that opening one or two MOS Burgers restaurants in the LA and Orange County areas would be highly profitable and rewarding for your company. Please let me know if and when you decide to open a new location in greater Los Angeles.
A David Bullock
The food on this blog always looks delicious... shiokadelicious!: Home-Made Lo Mei Kai: Part I -- Classically Steamed
One of the main reasons I am going to Japan is to enjoy the most wonderful food on the planet. Japanese food is the finest, most delicate and delicious sustanance ever concocted. It combines all my favorite things and creates things you would never even consider eating if it weren't there in front of you.
Here is a photo journey into what i will be eating: